The Polisario Front has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack carried out in the early hours of Sunday morning against the town of Smara, in the Moroccan-controlled Sahara, which has caused the death of one person and two serious injuries.
The Moroccan Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation to determine the details, authorship and responsibility for the four explosions reported by local authorities that occurred in several neighborhoods of the city, one of the most important in the region, located 80 kilometers north of the border with Mauritania and 300 kilometers west of the border with Algeria.
The use of terrorist violence by the Polisario Front contrasts with the proposal of a peaceful and dialogued solution that this weekend has again raised at the Second International Conference on the Sahara, for Dialogue and Peace, held in Dakhkar, the Saharawi Movement for Peace, which has claimed international recognition as representative of the Saharawis and made a concrete proposal for negotiations with Morocco to give substance to its proposal for a broad autonomy for the Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty.
In the statement, the Polisario Front speaks of heavy losses in enemy positions and trenches in the regions of Mahbas, Farsia and Smara, in the Western Sahara controlled with Morocco, with whom it has been waging a low-intensity war since 2020 when it broke the 1991 truce.
The Moroccan Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation into the death of a person following "shell fire" that occurred on Sunday in the town of Smara, in the territory of Western Sahara.
Following the incident, the prosecutor general of the Court of Appeal of El-Aaiun - capital of Western Sahara - announced in a statement, released by the official Moroccan agency MAP, that he has instructed the judicial police to carry out an investigation into what happened.
The statement said that one person was killed "following the firing of projectiles aimed at districts of the town of Smara" and that the public prosecutor has ordered the necessary technical and ballistic expertise to identify the origin and nature of the projectiles.
Residents of the Saharawi town, disseminated on social networks unverified videos showing the impact of shells on the ground of houses.
According to local authorities, there was an explosion in the Zap district, another in Hay Essalam and two more in the industrial district of the town.
Polisario resorts to violence in the face of international backing for Morocco
In November 2020, the Polisario Front considered the cease-fire signed with Morocco in 1991 broken and decreed a state of war in response to an action by Moroccan military units acting to unblock the free movement of people and goods through the Guerguerat crossing, the Sahara's border with Mauritania after 14 days of interruption by a small group of activists. The eviction of the activists was carried out without any damage to any of those who were causing a huge traffic jam and great losses to the transporters who were stopped for almost two weeks.
The action of these activists came in response to Morocco's diplomatic successes with the support of relevant countries at the international level to the Moroccan proposal of broad autonomy for the Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, presented at the United Nations in 2007.
A diplomatic action that achieved the recognition of the United States to the Moroccan sovereignty of the Sahara and the progressive cascade of endorsements from countries such as Spain, Germany, United Arab Emirates and 15 African governments, among others.
Since then, incidents involving shelling and air strikes have been recorded in the so-called "buffer zone" of Western Sahara, which covers several kilometers on both sides of the territory's border with Algeria and Mauritania. Smara, however, is not within this "buffer zone", but lies further into the Moroccan-controlled Saharawi territory.
Morocco has intercepted attempted Polisario attacks and an April 2021 drone action by Moroccan forces killed the head of the Polisario National Gendarmerie, Adah el Bendir.
Moroccan intelligence had redoubled its precautions in the face of information placing Iranian drones in the hands of the Polisario and after the terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel, with whom Morocco has developed its relations in recent months in various sectors.
Last week, King Mohammed VI ordered emergency humanitarian aid to be sent to the Palestinian population in Gaza, which was transported aboard two planes carrying food, medicine and water.